Another old idea whose time has come


Bill Ferriter (aka @plugusin) reports from Educon: What if we had a culture of “Do” instead of “Know?”

Well, you can’t have the first without the second, not meaningfully anyways, so let’s be careful not to leave babies sitting in puddles. But it is a huge relief to me to hear that some at least are thinking that education has a purpose. 

Almost 500 years ago, Ignatius Loyola built a great school founded on the idea that the purpose of an education was to go out in the world and do, that is make intelligent and effective contributions to the welfare of society.

Regardless of our worldview, we do this ultimately in order to improve ourselves. Everyone exists as both a unique person and as an individual in society. As an individuals, we contribute to society so that society’s goods flow back on us and make us better persons. As better persons, we can contribute more as individuals and this receive yet more goods, and so on.


What we still need to do, however, is ask “What should the person look like?” or “What are we trying to beceome?” To the Jesuits, the answer is Christ. To Buddhists, it’s Buddha. To the humanist, it’s perhaps a Socratic idea of the just human.

But however we answer, education has as a fundamental quality this idea of action. 


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